Shaking the Dust from their Feet

Yeshua warned His disciples that not every place would receive their message. He told them not to waste time arguing or trying to persuade people. Instead, He told them to leave that place, and He said, "As you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them" (Mark 6:11).

When the Son of Man Comes

What did He mean when He said that He will deny us before the angels of God? “Before the angels of God” is a theological circumlocution that simply means “before God.” In this context, the “angels of God” constitute the heavenly court over which the LORD presides. The throne of judgment is in view.

Get Behind Me Satan

The Master responded, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Matthew 16:23). Did the master of darkness momentarily possess Simon Peter at Caesarea Philippi? Were Peter’s objections so unreasonable as to require a demonic explanation?

The Secret Messiah

When Yeshua asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”, Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” It was the correct answer, but Yeshua warned the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah. Why? Was that not that the whole point of His proclamation, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”?

The Power to Bind and Loose

In context, this does not refer to authority to bind and loose evil spirits in spiritual warfare. The terms to bind and to loose (forbid and permit) appear literally thousands of times in the Mishnah, Talmud, and rabbinic literature. The Torah vested the power to bind and loose in the Sanhedrin.

Keys to Heaven

The popular folk-image of Saint Peter receiving souls at the gates of heaven derives from this passage. The "keys to the kingdom" are not literal keys, nor are they keys to the heavenly paradise.

The Gates of Hell

If we think of Hades or Hell as the capital city of Satan’s kingdom of darkness wherein his demon’s live and torture the souls of the deceased, we have accidentally borrowed some imagery from Greek mythology. In Isaiah 38, the term “gates of Sheol” is a metaphor for the passage between life and death.

Upon this Rock

In what way is the disciple Simon Peter the foundation of the Master’s assembly? Peter was the first to proclaim Messiah to the Jewish people and the first to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles.

The Deaf Hear and the Mute Speak

The Master’s miracles seemed to leap from the prophecies of Isaiah: “The ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:5-6). Some of his miracles, however, illustrated aspects of his mission and teaching.

Hospitality for the Apostles

The Master regarded a person who hosted His disciples and heeded their words as if he or she had hosted Him and listened directly to His teaching. The apostles officially represented Him, and receiving an apostle is the same as receiving the one who sent him.